Duke Struggles but gets by Tennesee State 65-55; 18 Rebounds for Amile Jefferson

Brian HoraceGeneral Information, Results/ThoughtsLeave a Comment

Aside from getting a win and Harry Giles playing his first real minutes there wasn’t much to like about the Duke performance in this game. Duke was pretty lethargic and the output was lackluster at best. Duke was expectedly flat having not played a game in 9 days and having finals – Tennessee State took full advantage matching Duke stride for stride. Duke could only manage a halftime lead of 4 points and had their lowest output of the season in the first half with 27 points.

Duke began the second half much like the first, flat, out of sync and out of sorts. It took a Tennessee State taking a 2 point lead to wake the sleeping Devils who went on a 25-3 run to essentially put the game away. Duke unfortunately did not finish the game strong playing sloppily and allowing TSU to get within striking distance.

Duke was led by Mr. Consistent, sophomore Luke Kennard, who scored 24 points off of 7-10 shooting. Duke also got double-figure efforts from Grayson Allen (12) and Jayson Tatum (14). Tatum had a career high 9 rebounds but the king of the boards was Amile Jefferson who struggled from the floor going 2 of 7 but pulled down a career high 18 rebounds for Duke. Duke won the game but it was the ugliest double-digit victory in recent memory.

It’s hard to say whether the bigger story was the return of Harry Giles who played 4 minutes in the game going 0-1, or the ability of Tennessee State to hang with Duke the entire game. It was nearly the perfect storm for this team who took NC State to overtime before losing in the end. Duke will try to look sharper in it’s final tune-up before the start of ACC play.

The good:

  • The 25-3 run that Duke had in the second half was a thing of beauty sandwiched between two ugly stretches at the beginning and the end of the game.
  • Duke had a 13-3 advantage in points off of turnovers
  • Harry Giles playing his first minutes as a Blue Devil
  • Duke won the rebounding battle 41 to 29

The bad:

  • Duke was beaten in points in the paint (32-18)
  • Duke was beaten in points off of turnovers (15-14)
  • Duke shot under 60% from the free throw line (59.4%)
  • Duke shot under 40% from the field (37.3%)

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